Relocation of 2nd tigress to Mukundra reserve likely to be delayed
The relocation of second tigress to the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) in Rajasthan will be delayed as the tiger couple relocated last year is yet to mark its territory, forest officials said. Normally, a tiger marks his or her territory before starting family.
A tiger and tigress were relocated from the Ranthambore tiger reserve in April and December 2018 to populate the newly created tiger habitat.
Rajasthan’s chief conservator of forest (wildlife) GV Reddy said the department would take some time to relocate the second tigress to MHTR. “The wildlife department of Rajasthan had received permission from the National Tiger Conservation Authority last year for relocation of two tigresses; we have already shifted one and another may be shifted in February,” said Reddy.
“We will have to see how the first tiger pair is interacting in MHTR before relocation of another tigress. Only when we will be confident that the first tiger pair is doing well, we will shift another tigress.”
The forest department is monitoring the movement of the pair which is marking its territory in the reserve. Tigers are territorial animals and can have territories of up to 10sqkm. The tiger pair was doing well in MHTR and making kills though they have not mated, Reddy said, adding: “We are waiting to see once the tigress comes under oestrus cycle (period when tigress is receptive and capable of conceiving).”
Once that happens, showing that the pair has established itself in the reserve, Reddy said the second tigress will be relocated. “The identification of the second tigress for relocation to MHTR would be done at the time of its relocation and not now,” he said.
The first tiger relocated to MHTR was named Mukundra Tiger-1 (MT-1) and the tigress was named MT-2. Mukundra Hills, third tiger reserve in Rajasthan after Ranthambore and Sariska, was formed in 2013 by combining forest sanctuaries of Kota, Bundi, Jhalawar and Chittorgarh to decongest Ranthambore, which has over 50 tigers.